Thursday, January 31, 2008

White Aprons and what happened to me yesterday

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I have a thing for white aprons as you can see. I don't use them I just like to display them. The middle one is one of my favorites because it's linen. I just love linen and lace!
The white aprons were my planned post for today but then something happened yesterday that I have to share...

I was driving back to work from an appointment I had yesterday morning. I was irritated because the appointment had started late and I was very late getting back to work. For some reason I was not paying attention and I turned onto the wrong freeway! Luckily further up the freeway there is a road that connects to the freeway I should have been on so I took that exit. I was going with the flow of traffic when I realized even though we had a green light that cars were stopping. I slowed down and then I saw a tiny, very hunched-back old lady crossing the street against the traffic! A car came flying up in the lane next to me and I thought for sure I was going to witness this lady get hit by a car. I let out a huge gasp, my heart dropped into my stomach and every muscle in my body tightened up! Luckily the driver saw her in time and was able to stop. I could tell the woman did not even know what was going on around her! Once she finally reached the other side of the street, our light turned red so we were all sitting there in our cars looking at this woman. I was waiting for someone to help her as I'm sure everyone else was. I realized that I needed to step up and offer to help. The light was still red so I got out of my car and yelled over to her to see if she needed help. As she looked up, I could see tears in her eyes and she shook her head yes. When the light turned green, I turned into the parking lot. She was so frail. Her back was so bad, her body was bent in half with her face pointing to the ground. She was wearing pajama bottoms and she had a push cart with a few belongings; just some candy, a newspaper, adult diapers and a pillow. She told me she was from Modesto, which is over an hour away and that she had come here for her mother's funeral. She said some mean woman had stolen her money that she was going to use to take the train back home to Modesto. She said she only needed $15 more. I started to think maybe it was a scam but then I remembered how she was almost hit by a car. I told her to get in my car and I would get her help. My cell phone is broken so I drove her back to my work and told my coworkers what happened. They gave me some money for her, about $14. She was in a lot of pain and told me she had a prescription at a pharmacy that she needed to get for back pain. I took her to a pharmacy by my work and got the prescription transferred there. I bought her the medicine, some adult diapers because she only had two left, wipes & lunch. I wouldn't have been able to spend this much money on her this time of the month because it's rent time but I had just received an unexpected check for $100 and I really feel like it was meant for her. She told me she had dementia. She did not want me to call the police so I told her I wouldn't. I kept asking her if she had any friends or relatives. Her husband was dead and she didn't have any children. She had friends in Modesto but not in the San Jose area. Then she told me she had a friend but that it was too far away and she didn't want me to have to drive her that far. When she told me where her friend lived I couldn't believe it...it was just down the street from where we were. I had driven her about 15 - 20 minutes away from where I first found her and now we were near someone she knew. When I took her to her friend's house no one was home but they had a bench in front of their house and she told me she would sit there, eat the lunch I bought for her and wait for her friend to come home. She assured me that her friend never leaves for long and that she would be home soon. I gave her $20 and left her my business card & my home phone number and told her she could call me if she ever needed help. She gave my a hug goodbye and I left with tears in my eyes! I felt horrible leaving her there but I had to get back to work and she assured me that it was okay. I went back to work and called the police department of the city I found her in to see if anyone had reported her missing. The police dispatcher said no but didn't bother to take my name or number which I thought was odd. I couldn't stop thinking about her. When I got home from work last night I called the police department again. The woman questioned me about not calling them when I found her and I felt horrible...maybe I didn't do the right thing? She took my name and number and said she was going to research it more and they would call me if they found out any more information. I haven't heard from them yet. I'm feeling sick because I really think I should have called the police to help and not just left her at that home. I didn't listen to my intuition ~ I just did what she asked.

Her name is Helen Ruiz and she's from Modesto, California. She told me she was 69 years old but she looked so much older. If by chance someone reads this and knows her I would love to know that she's okay. I really believe that somehow I was guided down the wrong freeway and given that money so I could help her. Isn't that amazing how that happens! I sure hope she's okay. I know I will never forget that day and how good it feels to help someone in need!

Update: I called the Modesto Police Department today and left a message with an investigator there. I haven't heard back from her yet. Another update: I heard back from the investigator and she did a local search and then also did a national search using different ages and there was no one reported missing with her name.

I also got an nice email from someone who reads my blog and lives in Modesto. She is going watch the news and check the newspapers there to see if there are reports of someone missing.

Also, I thought about going back to the house but my friends say I shouldn't. She has my phone number so hopefully she will contact me or if she needs help someone will find my numbers in her purse and contact me.

64 comments:

Vickie said...

You may never find out how she is but you were faithful to what the Bible tells us to do because we may never know if we are entertaining angels. I absolutely believe you turned onto that lane of traffic and was protected from injury all because of this sweet woman.

What a wonderful testimony for others to read. You will be blessed for taking time out of your day to help this woman.

God bless you!
Vickie@PursuingSimplicity
p.s. I have read your blog for months but have never commented. Todays post brought me out of lurking!

Kristi said...

Wow. That is a wonderful story and was wonderful thing you did. I don't know that I would have been that gracious. You are truly a special person.

Jen said...

WoW...Have peace and know that she is in the Lord's hands. You were a blessing to this poor woman, and thankfully you listened to that still small voice and helped.

happy@home said...

Cindy,
Bless you for going out of your way to help this lady. My mom is suffering from dementia and it is so sad to see how confused she can get as a result of it.

Years ago I never would have imagined that my mom would end up like this, but I now realize it could very easily be any one of us and it makes me feel so good to know there are kind people like you in this world who are willing to be a good samaritan.

You definitely did the right thing.

Suzy said...

You are such a nice, kind and loving person. Thank God that you were there to help her!

Suzy

kverzani said...

Cindy...I think you were right...everything happens for a reason, even though at the time we don't know that reason. It's hard in the times we are living to know if someone is truly having a stroke of bad luck or if it's a scam. I think this lady proved to you that she truly was "down and out". Bless you for having the fortitude to help her..you will be rewarded for willingness to help.

I will remember this lady in my prayers. Thanks for sharing.

Alison Gibbs said...

Cindy, what a wonderful thing to do. It is amazing how many people just ignore these incidents.
We can only hope she is ok.
Alison

Charlotte said...

My goodness. This story made me cry. I use to live about 30 miles north of Modesto, so it hit home more than it would have otherwise. It's people like you that make this world a better place.
Blessings to you.

Charlotte said...

I almost forgot to comment on the white aprons. They are beautiful.

Cindy Roberts said...

I am CERTAIN you are glad you stopped to help. If you hadn't you would feel shame rather than compassion! The unexpected check you received had the name of the lady from Modesto written all over it! What a memory you created just by doing the right thing! Cindy

AmyB said...

I am so glad you were in the right place at the right time. Bless you for taking the time to care for that woman. I'll pray that she gets home safe & sound. Please don't second guess yourself, you did what was requested of you. (Love your blog, by the way --- I visit almost every workday but haven't left a comment. Thanks for the inspiration!) - Amy Bauer

Anonymous said...

Cindy - God put you in that lady's path. It was so good of you to help her!

Could you possibly drive to the friend's house and check into this further?

Hoping you find some answers and an end to the worry. Bless you!!

tina

Rosie's Whimsy said...

My Hubby and I believe strongly that there is no such thing as "coincidence". Those things that seem that way are "simply" the hand of God directly down paths He wants us to go. You went done that path today :-)

Shari said...

This was a very compassionate thing you did, Cindy, and I don't think you should question your actions. However, I will say that people with dementia (and some types of mental illness) can often tell stories that seem absolutely convincing and, unless you know their situation, you would have no way of knowing whether it was true or not. For example, my father has Alzheimer's and has been known to angrily tell people that my mother went out shopping one day and just never came back. The truth is she died of cancer three years ago but due to the Alzheimer's, some days he doesn't remember that. Heart-breaking, huh? But the point is, unless you knew the real situation, you would probably take my father at his word.

You will probably never know the truth about Helen's situation, for sure, but one thing is very clear... you were the only one willing to step up and help a fellow human being when everyone else found it easier to sit in their car and drive on when the light turned green. Please don't try to second-guess whether or not you did the right thing. Your intentions were honorable and without a doubt, you performed a very humanitarian act of kindness. I hope you will take comfort in that.

Glenda said...

Cindy,
God was your guide that day. Have you gone back to the house that you left her at to see if anyone there knows about her ?
We all have spirit guides that sometimes help us help others.
The money that came to you I truly believe that is was for that reason.
Just know that this was an experience that not only touched you, but the people around you as well. If we all did a deed like that or similar, our world will benefit.
Know in you heart that God has put his arms around this woman has done what needed to be done and she is grateful. Did you call the Modesto police? Don't let the woman at the police dept that you spoke to give you a guilt trip.
Bless you
Glenda

Katie said...

Your reward in Heaven will be great for your kindness. Follow that voice, if it nags you to follow up, by all means go back and check with the folks at the house. Otherwise, know you brought comfort to a needy soul. Katie

Rosemary said...

I think you are right Cindy.
You were meant to help!!
Good for you for stepping up, when nobody else would.
I probabaly would have thought it was a scam at first too.
It's very hard to trust people these days.
You did good.
Rosemary

Carol said...

Cindy, what kind gestures.You are right HE led you down that wrong freeway and HE sent extra money your way and you did exactly what HE would have wanted you yo do!
Carol
http://ourreddoor.blogspot.com

Debbie from NJ said...

Cindy,

What a wonderful and kind thing that you did. I too believe that the money you received was for her.
I hope that she is okay where ever she may be. It's wonderful to know there are people like you out there.

misskp said...

Cindy, I read, then re-read, your story, and am so glad you decided to help this poor woman. It's so easy for us to look the other way when the homeless, poor and ill people need us so much to help when we can. We are all neighbors, part of this big "community" on earth. You are a wonderful example of a good neighbor!

Erin said...

You did a wonderful thing by helping that woman. Something even worse could have happened to her if you hadn't come and helped... you are a very special, caring, compassionate woman. In this day and age, not everyone is willing to give their time and money for a stranger in need. Your story has truly touched me. Thank you for sharing. Erin

Judy said...

Cindy, I believe God sent you as this lady's guardian angel. My mom is 87 and I have the privilege and pleasure of escorting her around. How sad this lady seems all alone. Please let me know if you hear anything about her and if she needs anything, I'd love to help out. I know you don't expect anything from doing "what's right" but God will bless you for this simple act of kindness.
I pray God blesses you with a special miracle - Judy

Jill said...

Oh my gosh, I am wiping tears as I read your story. You truly have a good heart! This old world would be a much better place if there were more people like you. You are truly going to be blessed by the good that you have done! Still wiping tears...I will say a little prayer for your little friend. I, too believe that this was definitely a GOD thing! God Bless You!!!

Meg said...

Cindy, you followed your heart and did what you thought was best. I think you were meant to be in that particular part of Helen's story..and that someone else will be in the next. Thank you for sharing that story. I'm sure it was terribly unnerving and upsetting and confusing at the same time. I would have had no idea what to do and hope that I would have had the same good instincts that you did.

BailiwickDesigns said...

What a sweetheart you are! You just never know when you might be helping an angel without knowing it! I think you did all you could, and bless you for taking the time.

::Jill

Sue said...

Oh Cindy, what an amazing story, it sounds like a movie!! Too many people choose to ignore this sort of thing, I guess it is easier to not get involved...It's so sad there isnt anyone for her, but hopefully this friend has taken her in.
Sue

ginger at enchanting cottage said...

You are truly a good person,we need more people like you. And thank-you for the update.
ginger

mvobsession said...

Cindy - I echo what the others said, you were meant to be at that place at that time. I don't know if I would have stepped up like you did but I like to think I would have.
Bless you.
Joan

VINTAGE GIRL AT HEART said...

You will be Blessed for your kind words and deeds.......We all can take a page from your book today.....
In different circumstances, Helen could be any one of us....

Rosemary said...

Cindy,
What a kind person you are. I absolutely agree with your first blogger, Vickie. We never know why we are in certain circumstances of if we are being tested, but I am sure you were there for a reason. I know that in this day and age that many people would be frightened to stop and help a total stranger, let alone put her in your car, but thank God that all went well. Blessings to you, Rosemary~

Vickie said...

We never do know when we are entertaining angels. You may never know what her story is, but you lived up to values that each of us hope that we can. That makes you an angel!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely story, but, if she knew where she needed to go (her friends in Modesto) and she didn't want you to call the police. I'm the odd one out that thinks maybe, just maybe I could be wrong, something isn't right about the whole thing. I don't know, you were very kind of heart, but again, people today are tricky. Sorry, don't mean to offend anyone. It's like the Emperor's Clothes........(spelling may be incorrect)

linda t said...

Oh Cindy, I believe you did just as the Lord would have you do. All things work for the good and I am so sure you did sooo much good for that woman. You were obedient and discerning and compassionate.
You inspired many to act and make a difference.
Thanks for sharing!

Shabby Cottage Boutique said...

Wow I have had so many Holy encounters like that in my life.. angel intervention! Sometimes it is a lesson for us the teacher appears when the student is ready...Blessings Denise

KarenHarveyCox said...

What an amazing story. I am sure that you will be blessed because you helped that lady. I totally agree with what Vickie said about you never know when you are entertaining angels. If you feel worried, just pray for her, you did a wonderful thing. Blessings, Karen

Dolly said...

Cindy you truely are this ladies' angel!
I do think you should go back to the friends house to make sure she got home safely!
Who knows if she was there when the friend got home or not!
I don't think you will rest at ease until you know for sure that she got home safely!
I am worried!
Please keep us updated!
I will keep her in my prayers!

Hugz, Dolly

The Old Painted Cottage said...

Cindy,

What an amazing story. I have tears in my eyes. You have such great compassion, and are a very caring soul. I definitely think you did the right thing.

oxox
Jennifer

Anonymous said...

First off, well done for helping someone so obviously in need. However, I'm with anonymous in that she seemed, from what you've told us, very aware for someone with dementia. For example, she knew she had dementia. I find that odd. My mother has dementia and she doesn't know what day it is, let alone that she's ill. I'm not saying this to detract in any way from you did - we really do need more people like you. But perhaps she was not all she seemed. I don't know.

restyled home said...

I don't know...personally, I think she was probably a confused, old lady who had lost her way and was in need of help. AS for those who doubt her story, I figure if she was that desperate to be nearly struck by a car, conjure up tears, and wear only a diaper and pajamas in public, then it really doesn't matter: she was desperate, and in need, and you were kind enough to help her. Of course you will second guess her outcome, therefore, absolutely check back with the owner of the home where you left her. It may just serve to quiet your worries.

You are a sweet lady, and did the right thing...

Linda
xoxo

Mary said...

Cindy,
You are a genuinely caring person! I don't think I would have done all that you did -- it's so much easier to just drive by. Your story and your actions are so inspiring. Whether it was a scam or not is immaterial -- you gave of yourself to another human being, and that is, in the end, all that matters.
xoxo,
Mary

willzmom said...

What a good thing you did, do not feel bad for not doing more-you were the only one who did anything!

Gayla said...

Lovely aprons.... and a lovely spirit that shines thru everything you do, including helping a little old woman. I hope she's okay. I know you helped her, no matter what.

bj said...

There's not a doubt in my mind that you did just exactly what GOD sent you to do and you should feel like it was a job well done.
Blessings, bj

MyJourneyBack said...

What an amazing story and testimony. I believe that things happen for a reason. God was using you to help this lady. You will surely be Blessed for all you did. I'll keep reading to see if you have an update. I love the white aprons too. They are lovely.

MyJourneyBack said...

What an amazing story and testimony. I believe that things happen for a reason. God was using you to help this lady. You will surely be Blessed for all you did. I'll keep reading to see if you have an update. I love the white aprons too. They are lovely.

Marilyn said...

Cindy,

We need more people like you who are willing to reach out and touch people obviously in need. You are a very special person with a heart of gold.

I can tell you are torn about returning to the house. Have you considered contacting someone in social services in your area to accompany you to the house, or perhaps they would want to stop by to check on the occupants.

I hope you find peace and resolution to this situation.

Marilyn

heartartz said...

WOW.
You are an angel!
You showed her love.
Although sometimes they remember the past. Those with dementia only have that moment in the present for happiness. the rest of their time is a blurr of confusion.
You showed her safety comfort, love and happiness.
Somehow maybe the white aprons must be "tied" to this.... but maybe not.

Sue said...

Cindy,
You were her angel today! God is so good when he gives us an opportunity to spread our wings to help one of his children.
Hugs and God bless,
Sue

BittersweetPunkin said...

Oh Cindy,,,you were her Angel.

JeannieTheDreamer said...

oh Cindy. Our Lord is so good and loving. Can you imagine how your heart went out to Helen. All that you did for her. I have tears in my eyes. I am very certain she is okay. Thank you for helping her.

Susie Q said...

Oh Cindy...it was a blessing that she found you. You did the right thing and will be blessed for it. Most just go on by and never give it a thought.
I am always being told that I have been scammed or taken for a lark when I have tried to help someone....but still I do it, just as you did.
I think we are put here on this Earth to DO for others in many different ways. You are a sweet and special lady. Heaven smiled...

Love and hugs,
Sue

Linda's Blue Gate said...

Cindy,
I only pray if my Mom ever got lost.. ( she has Alzheimer's) there would be a kind "Cindy" around to help her. I just know heaven was smiling as you helped this dear lady.
Blessing to you
Linda

Classic Charm said...

Cindy,
THANK YOU and bless you for your kindness. I truly believe God sent you there to help this woman. It is a gentle reminder that amidst all of this chaos in the world, there are very kind people...and you are one of them.
Rose

Lulu said...

what a great story of helping one another..
God Bless you...

Nan said...

That was so kind of you. Makes us stop to realize how fortunate we are to have friends and family around us.
Good for you!
Hugs,
Nan

Amy at Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Oh Cindy, what a beautiful person you are! God definitely guided you to help this poor women as no one else would have! Bless you sweetie! We need more people like you in the world! Please let is know if you hear any more.

Love,
Amy

Dena ~ swaddlecottage said...

Hi Cindy,

I am so happy that you shared this with us. I believe you were meant to do exactly what you did and how wonderful that you followed your heart to care for her. You are a blessing and by sharing this, you are blessing so many others.

Hugs,
Dena

Donna said...

I just read your heart warming story and what a wonderful thing you did. I'm not sure I would have done what you did. You are a very special person.
I don't often comment on your blog but I like to visit.
Donna

Anonymous said...

Yes, you really were there to witness and follow thru with the generous time and money spent. It is so hard not knowing the end result. Be at peace that you were a kind and compassionate woman. I am a volunteer first responder. We are called for Emergencies of all kinds. The ones I hate the most are the scenes that the victims are not local and we never really know how it all turns out. Over the last 15 years, I have had to realize that if we are really suppose to know more...it will happen. Thanx for being there for her.

Cottagecheap said...

What ever happened? Did you ever go back to that home?

homespun1 said...

I read you post with great interest.
I would have done the same thing. It was very obvious this person was destitute and very much alone. You were an angel for doing what you did. Your co-workers too for helping.
If she never calls you...you can at least know you brought some comfort into that ladies life, some warm food and medicine. Very much like in the bible. She could have been an angel that god used to see if human compassion would prevail. I believe one reason you are so blessed is because you blessed someone else knowing you would get absolutely nothing in return. You are very brave and very compassionate!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindy!
I found your blog through another that I stumbled upon. I have been reading it for the past couple of days, going back and enjoying your archives. Your blog is wonderful, your home is lovely, and now I find what a truly wonderful person you are!
Blessings,
Velvia

Country Cottage said...

It's so nice you take time to help this woman. You are so kind. Hope she is ok now


Cathy

marilyn colvert said...

perhaps she is not capable of calling you if she has some dementia. perhaps if you are concerned you can go back to the house where you left her off and ask the residents. the efforts you made for her saftey are very kind!